Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets

Foil packet meals are a great choice for when you are away at the beach, camping outdoors, or just want to shake up your weeknight supper routine. Fuss-free, mess-free (no pots and pans to clean up), oven-free. What could be better? These light and lemony chicken foil packets can be assembled up to two hours in advance - just store them in the refrigerator and then let them rest on the kitchen counter as you preheat the grill. You don't have to wait for pasta to cook when you use fully cooked pasta, such as Barilla Ready Pasta; the steam and juices from the chicken, lemon, tomatoes, and butter is all you need for a tender, al dente pasta.  Budget-friendly boneless, skinless chicken breasts makes quick work of meal prep in these lemon-basil chicken foil packets. Be sure to use heavy-duty aluminum foil for the packets to avoid rips and spills.

Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets
Photo: Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
4 serves


  • 2 (8.5-oz.) pkg. fully cooked gemelli pasta, heated according to pkg. directions

  • 2 pints heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved (about 4 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 4 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed small fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Cut 4 (18- x 12-inch) sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and spray 1 side with cooking spray.

  2. Stir together pasta, cherry tomatoes, oil, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Divide pasta mixture evenly, and place in the center of the sprayed side of each foil sheet.

  3. Season chicken breasts with pepper and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Place 1 breast on top of pasta mixture in each packet. Stir together butter and lemon zest. Spread about 1 tablespoon butter mixture over each chicken breast.

  4. Bring up both long sides of foil until edges meet. Fold over 1/2 inch; close and seal edges. Fold over 1/2 inch again to further seal. Fold each short side over 1 inch to close and seal edges; fold over 2 more times to completely seal. Repeat with other packets.

  5. Place packets on unoiled grates, folded sides up. Grill, covered, 10 minutes. Rotate packets 90 degrees, cover, and continue grilling until a thermometer inserted in chicken registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove packets from grill, and carefully unfold edges of long seam, allowing steam to escape. Top with basil.

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